Archives For September 2015

If you’ve got your house ready to show but you’re still living in it, things will invariably end up out of place. Take 15-20 minutes and follow the checklist below to make sure everything’s in shape before you leave your house for a showing.

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Security/Valuables:

  • Keep all keys, mail, and documents with personal information out of sight.
  • Store alcohol and prescription drugs out of view, preferably in a locking cabinet.
  • Password protect desktop computers, lock up laptops or take with you.
  • Lock up small valuables like jewelry, watches, mp3 players, tablets, etc.

Cleanliness/Clutter:

  • Remove dishes from the sink.
  • Clear counters and tables, store small kitchen appliances out of sight
  • Rinse sinks, tubs, showers, and toilets clean.
  • Store toiletries in cabinets or drawers, straighten hanging towels.
  • Place laundry in covered hampers or otherwise out of view.

Kids/Pets:

  • Put toys away – have a bin at the ready for quick pick-ups.
  • Secure pets in kennels or preferably out of the house.

Tip – get into the habit of running through this list before you leave the house every morning so you won’t need to worry if someone wants schedule a tour while you’re at work.

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The Sellwood neighborhood is located on the southeast side of Portland and is settled on a bluff that looks straight out to the Willamette River. Part of Sellwood was originally nicknamed Antique Row, due to the number of antique shops speckled along SE 13th. The antique shops are still there, but the neighborhood has filled in with every type of business a community like this would want. Walking through Sellwood reminds me of strolling through a European Village.

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Due to the strong real estate market, walkability and charm, Sellwood is now filled with cafes, restaurants, and all sorts of businesses. A favorite restaurant of mine is Portofino on SE 13th; Italian cuisine that also has a fantastic weekend brunch. One common thread throughout many of these bustling neighborhood communities is our locally owned New Seasons Grocery Store. The store has placed themselves in urban neighborhoods that have great livability! The new Orange Line of the light rail as well as the new Tilikum Bridge will now tie this neighborhood to the rest of the city.

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Sellwood is filled with parks, they  include the Riverfront Park right on the Willamette river, Sellwood Park which is my favorite spot to play  tennis in the city. (You can be hitting balls and watching the boats on the river at the same time) and Oaks Park which many people forget is right in Sellwood. Oaks Park has been around for so long most people don’t even think about it. It was established in 1905, and was known as the Coney Island of the NW back then. Fun fact it is 1 of the 10 oldest amusement parks in the country! Even though it is so old it is still actually a great little amusement park for the family on those days you are trying to find something to do.

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The real estate market has gone gang Busters in Sellwood. This area of town has been known for its Victorian and Craftsman homes, you will not find many English styles in Sellwood.  When walking down the streets you can tell that there is a lot of pride in home ownership. Friendly people throughout. It’s a part of town many want to live in and gravitate towards because of that happy welcoming feel.  Who doesn’t enjoy being waved to and smiled at every block?

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Susie and Duffy the Real Estate Dog

Susie Hunt Moran is a Real Estate Broker with Windermere Stellar and has called PDX home for over 35 years. She is a Portland home expert and can be found working all over town with her Westie, Duffy the Real Estate Dog, always loyal by her side.

Now is a great time to start getting your home ready to handle the colder temps and rougher weather months ahead. Below we’ve provided a list to make sure you are prepared.

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Interior

  • Replace batteries in smoke and Carbon Monoxide detectors (use the equinox or “fall back” time change date as your annual reminder)
  • Ensure all heating vents are unobstructed.
  • Have furnace or heat pump serviced to ensure it’s working efficiently before the temperatures get too low.
  • Replace (or remove and clean) furnace air filter on the following schedule:
    • High-efficiency and electrostatic filters need to be replaced once per quarter.
    • Simple fiberglass or paper filters should be replaced monthly.
    • Reusable mesh filters should be cleaned monthly (do not reuse filters unless they are specifically intended for it).

Exterior

  • Check foundation for cracks. If found, document with photos for future comparison – if cracks are over 3/16” wide or have increased in size since your last inspection, consult a professional.
  • Examine areas where different materials meet and where pipes or wires enter the house for any gaps. Seal with caulking.
  • Visually inspect roof for leaks, missing or damaged shingles, or rusting flashing and schedule repairs if you find any damage.
  • Make sure the seal between garage door and the ground is tight to prevent drafts and keep out small animals. Replace weather-stripping if necessary.
  • Inspect driveway for cracks. Clean out and repair any damage with driveway filler, then coat with a commercial sealer.
  • After leaves have fallen, clean out the gutters and downspouts, flush them with water, inspect joints, and tighten brackets if necessary.
  • If you remove your window screens, clean and repair them before putting them away for the winter.
  • Clean windows and reinstall storm windows and doors if stored in the spring.

Cracked Foundation

  • Have chimney cleaned; make sure flue damper closes securely.
  • Remove window air-conditioner units and store in a dry location. Protect permanently placed units by wrapping in a tarp or weatherproof cover.
  • Winterize outdoor faucets: Detach and drain all hoses. Shut off outdoor water supply valve, and then open all outdoor faucets to drain water remaining in the pipes. Cover faucets and exposed piping with insulating foam covers to keep pipes from freezing.
  • Drain and winterize in-ground sprinkler system.
  • Trim all trees and bushes back to a minimum distance of 3”-6” from your house.
  • Drain fuel from mowers and other gas-powered lawn equipment before storing for the winter.
  • Cover and store outdoor furniture and barbecues in a protected area.

Patio Furn

Child proofing should be at the top of your list when you have little ones at home. “Unintentional injury” is the leading cause of death among 0 to 17-year-olds and nearly “9 million children are treated for their injuries in hospital emergency departments each year” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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To get you started, here is a room-by-room checklist for making sure your new home is safe for the entire family.

Kitchen:

  • Store soaps and cleaning products up high.
  • Lock cupboards and drawers that contain anything you don’t want your little one getting his or her hands on, like if the garbage is in a cupboard under the sink or knives are stowed in a drawer.
  • Tuck away appliance chords to prevent a reaching two-year-old from pulling the toaster down on his head.
  • Keep the knife block as far back on the countertop as possible.
  • Cover exposed outlets. Even if they aren’t reachable from the floor, they could become easily accessible when you have a mini sous chef helping to prepare dinner.
  • Install an oven lock.
  • Be vigilant when using the oven, stove, blender or garbage disposal.
  • Cover burners and knobs on the stove.

Living Room:

  • Cover exposed outlets and don’t forget to encase surge protectors.
  • Mount bookshelves to the wall. You might hesitate to do this until you’ve finalized the room’s layout, but that could be dangerous if your child is a climber.
  • Tack or tape lamp chords against end tables and walls.
  • Check for any wobbly furniture, like plant stands or entry tables, and keep them in storage until your child is older. Same goes with floor lamps.
  • Anchor the television to the entertainment center or wall.
  • Cut or tie window-blind chords so they are out of reach.
  • Install window locks.
  • Purchase a fireplace cover.
  • Add corner guards to furniture with sharp edges.

Bathroom:

  • Keep cleansers, medications and anything with a chord, like a curling iron or power razor, out of reach or in a locked cupboard.
  • If the garbage is not locked in a cupboard, be aware of what you discard. That razor blade that wasn’t accessible from a shelf in the shower could easily be plucked from the trash.
  • Install a toilet seat lid lock.
  • Develop the habit of keeping the bathroom door closed.

Other:

  • Set the water temperature no higher than 120 F.
  • Designate a place for guests to hang their coats and purses. Pocket knives, medication, change and other small items are kept in handbags and pockets, so keep them out of reach.
  • Install locks on doors that lead out of your hom
  • Add doorstops to keep fingers from getting pinched.
  • Make safety gates your new best friend, especially near stairs.
  • Block any openings that are wider than four inches with plastic shields.
  • Put new batteries in smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors.